Calendar Of Events

Executed at Dawn

Executed at Dawn

An Evening lecture with author David Johnson accompanied by music and poetry.

The controversial story of the men forced to shoot their fellow Tommies.

“A volley rings out—a nervous volley it is true, yet a volley. Before the fatal shots are fired I had called the battalion to attention. There is a pause, I wait. I see the medical officer examining the victim. He makes a sign, the subaltern strides forward, a single shot rings out. Life is now extinct . . . We march back to breakfast . . . This is war.”

Brigadier-General Crozier describes an execution he has ordered of a man who fell asleep on sentry duty. Much has been written about the 346 men who were executed in WW1 but there is usually only a passing reference to those who took part—the members of the firing squad, the officer in charge, the medical officer, and the padre. What are their stories? Through extensive research, David Johnson explores how they were selected and how they were treated before, during, and after the executions, and why there were so many procedural variations in the way that the executions were conducted.

Following David’s talk, poems will be read and performed, on the theme of ‘Shot at Dawn’ the name given to the campaign for a full pardon for those executed during WW1. Guest poets, include John and Liz Mills, Jan and Nigel Wilkins, Ian M Parr and Bernard Pearson & Ron Turner representing Oswestry Writers.
Poems will also be read in memory of A.R. (David) Lewis ex Welsh Guardsman who was a strong supporter of the Shot at Dawn Campaign – who David Johnson consulted on writing his book and included three of David’s own poems within its pages. In support of this lecture – music will be played by Nigel Wilkins on piano.

Tickets £6 from Rowanthorn